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3 dos and don'ts for cleaning your engine compartment

The fit and finish of a car's exterior often gets all the attention, and most gearheads will debate polishes and paint protectants for hours on end. If you want to find who is really detail-oriented at a car show, don't look at the hood—look under the hood. A spotless engine bay is tough to achieve and even harder to maintain. It's worth it, though, because a clean engine compartment is not only attractive but also conducive to spotting any leaks or issues when they start, rather than leaving them to be camouflaged by grime.


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Simple Green and water 50/50 (with some scrubbing with a brush or rag) will usually take off any reasonable amount of grime. I use it 100% under the car as well. This is always followed up with spraying water from a garden hose over the compartment. Then blow off the remaining moisture with a leaf blower followed by drying rags.